Lethbridge Police take armed male safely into custody

Lethbridge Police have taken a 20-year-old man who was armed with a rifle and nearly five dozen rounds of steel core ammunition, safely into custody following a high-risk incident that resulted in the closure of Whoop Up Drive early this morning.

During the early morning hours August 18, 2016 police responded to a 911 call from a suicidal male who reported that he had a firearm and wanted to engage police. Police attended the male’s location but he fled the area in a vehicle and proceeded to drive through the city at speeds in excess of 100 km/h. The vehicle was subsequently disabled in the eastbound lanes of Whoop Up Drive and traffic in both directions was closed.

Members of the Tactical Team and Explosive Disposal Unit were called out as a safety precaution and given the confirmed presence of a rifle and the significant risk of harm to police and the public, LPS requested the assistance of the Medicine Hat Police Service Armoured Rescue Vehicle which was staged along Whoop-Up Drive.

An officer on scene and a crisis negotiator were in constant contact with the armed male, who remained inside his vehicle for several hours. At approximately 5:51 a.m. he surrendered to police. A loaded SKS rifle along with five full clips and one partial clip of ammunition (54 rounds total), were seized from the vehicle.

Whoop-Up Drive was re-opened to traffic in both directions just before 7 a.m. Police wish to thank the public for their patience and cooperation in avoiding the area while this high-risk incident was dealt with.

“This was an extremely dangerous situation for everyone involved,” said Chief Rob Davis. “We relied on a number of resources and took every precaution possible to ensure the safety of the public, the safety of our officers and ultimately the subject who was safely taken into custody."

At this time the male is being interviewed by police and weapons charges are pending. Upon the swearing of charges police will also be seeking a 30-day psychiatric remand.